NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis needed only one game on the sidelines to know that he had to come back for the Pelicans, even with just eight games remaining in the season.
Was it because New Orleans lost by 16 to San Antonio on Saturday?
Not at all.
It’s because of what Davis, in just his second year, wants to do long term.
“He wants to play,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “With all the guys we have out, I think he kind of feels like he needs to be out there leading this team. I think he feels like this is a great way to get conditioned for what we want to do some day. We want to be a team that plays well into May and lord-willing, June some day. You’ve got to get used to playing heavy minutes.”
The past two times Davis has sat out, the Pelicans have lost; a 96-80 setback at San Antonio and a 107-100 loss to Toronto.
In 13 games in March, Davis has averaged 24.5 points, 11 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. It’s a big reason the Pelicans are 9-6 this month.
“It was unfortunate he couldn’t play the other day but we’ve dealt with that all year long,” Williams said. “We’re just happy to have him back tonight.”